UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones hopes to fight four times in 2012 and Dan Henderson could be his first opponent of the year before a potential showdown with rival Rashad Evans, UFC President Dana White said in a recent appearance on ESPN Radio in Las Vegas (via Cagewriter).
“[Jones] said he wanted to take all this time off and then they were calling me…saying he wanted to fight as soon as possible. He’s ready to go,” White said. “What could end up happening is Dan Henderson fights Jon Jones first, then [Jones next fight] would be close to the time that Rashad fights. Or we could see how things go with Rashad [against Phil Davis] and Rashad fights him first.”
Jones (15-1) is less than a month removed from capping off a four-win 2011 with a second-round submission of Lyoto Machida in the “Fight of the Night” at UFC 140. Henderson (29-8) left Strikeforce, where he was the light heavyweight title-holder, and returned to the UFC with a unanimous decision over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a “Fight of the Year” front-runner at UFC 139.
Meanwhile, Evans (16-1-1) must get past undefeated prospect Phil Davis in the main event of UFC on Fox 2 on January 28 before considering a potential showdown with his former teammate Jones, who he was rumored to face at UFC 133 and UFC 140 before injuries derailed the bouts.
The UFC has already booked main events through UFC 144, but UFC 145 on March 24 in Monteal does not yet have a headlining matchup and could be a potential date for Jones’ next fight.
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Pictured: Jon Jones